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Horrifying story of woman exposed as ‘Instagram’s worst con artist’

Horrifying story of woman exposed as ‘Instagram’s worst con artist’

This story demonstrates just how untrustworthy some people can be.

Some seriously audacious scammer stories have come out in the age of social media, and this has got to be one of the most shocking we've heard.

It centers on Belle Gibson, an Australian health and fitness influencer who shocked the world when it became clear that she'd been spinning some unbelievably twisted lies.

Back in 2013, Gibson built a public profile around her claims on social media that she was diagnosed with brain cancer as a 20-year-old, and had been given four months to live.

Costache Hurgoi / 500px / Getty
Costache Hurgoi / 500px / Getty

She claimed to have rejected conventional cancer treatments, and was healing herself 'naturally'.

Gibson said she was managing to treat her condition using Ayurvedic medicine, along with oxygen therapy and a gluten-free diet, encouraging her followers (including some with actual cancer) to follow in her footsteps.

She released a cookbook and an app, and clocked up thousands of followers on Instagram.

However, one of her friends at the time, Chanelle McAuliffe, started to smell a rat when she began to learn about new alleged health issues or problems from social media, rather than directly from her friend.

Talking to The Sun about Gibson, McAuliffe said: "I started to question everything, to go over it all in my mind. She always looked so well, she never looked sick. I started to think about times where she had gone on tanning beds and another time when we went to a nightclub and she was ordering shots and drinks.

"I said to Belle, ‘This is not good’. But she said, ‘I’m going to die soon anyway. Why not have some fun?’ Those weren’t things she was sharing with her online community. Things just didn’t add up for me."

Tim Robberts / Getty
Tim Robberts / Getty

Eventually, McAuliffe confronted Gibson with another friend who shared her suspicions, and the lies began to unravel as Gibson failed to keep them all in order.

In 2015, the truth came out, and Gibson admitted she never had cancer.

And in 2017, a judge fined Gibson for misleading consumers by lying about ther charitable donations. She claimed she was donating the proceeds of sales of her cookbook and the related app, when that didn't turn out to be true. This was all discovered when one of the nominated charities, Asylum Seekers Resource Center, raised the alarm after no donations materialized.

Now, Gibson is getting the small screen treatment - first in a true crime ITV documentary, Instagram's Worst Con Artist, and soon in a Netflix drama loosely based on her, called Apple Cider Vinegar.

Featured Image Credit: 60 Minutes Australia / NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty